The Franklin County Planning and Zoning board last week gave businessman Don King another 30 days to correct conditional use permit violations, despite a long history of noncompliance.
King, who stores commercial equipment and materials on a 2-acre parcel at 150 Whispering Pines Drive just north of Interstate 44, has had ongoing violations of the CUP’s conditions since it was issued in July 2011.
According to planning documents, King received the CUP with eight conditions listed, including construction of a sight-proof fence that would hide stored materials from view off Whispering Pines Road.
Last year, after the CUP was issued, it was decided as per the suggestion of neighbors that the fence could be a row of 3-foot cedar trees planted five feet apart on a small berm.
Zoning enforcement inspected the site last summer and found that King had planted the trees, but that most of them had died apparently from drought conditions. The inspection also revealed that the property still had trash and tall weeds on it.
In early November, King was given until the end of the month to bring the property into compliance with the conditions of the CUP.
At the December meeting, the planning board voted to give King another 60 days, as per the recommendation of the review committee. King was told to have all the trash removed and have a plan ready to submit to the board on how to properly erect a barrier, whether it be with trees or a fence.
At the planning board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 19, the board acknowledged King had cleaned up the property, but he still hadn’t put up a sight-proof barrier. Furthermore, King failed to submit a plan for his sight-proof fence, but did testify that he had ordered trees through the department of conservation to replace the ones killed by the drought last year.
Questions were raised by the board as to whether or not the trees would survive drought conditions predicted for this year, and if they did, how long would it take for them to grow large enough to provide a barrier.
King testified that the trees he ordered were “extremely fast growers” and were hearty enough to survive drought conditions.
Board members reiterated that they still wanted to see a plan in writing, citing that no effort was made in the last 60 days to submit one to the planning office. King’s attorney asked if they could put one together and submit it that night, but board Chairman Bill Evans stated the agenda was full and there wouldn’t be enough time.
Board members voted unanimously to give King another 30 days to submit a plan, but stated this would be the last extension.
“We’re willing to deal with you,” Evans said, “but we’ve bent over backward to allow you to comply with the CUP.”